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Thursday, October 20, 2022, 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Please note that this is a hybrid event: you may join in-person (Budapest campus, Nador u. 15., room 103), or follow it online, on the Authlib Facebook-page.

If you would like attend the lecture in-person, then please register here. Deadline: October 17, 23:59 CET

15.30-15.40                 Opening Remarks

  • Zsolt Enyedi, Professor, CEU Department of Political Science; Senior Research Fellow, CEU Democracy Institute

15.40-16.20                 Keynote Address: Why Should We Care About Democracy at All?

What is democracy? Just a way of making collective decisions? If so, why do we attach such value to it? Why do we make democracy, a political instrument, into the bearer of ultimate values? Why, indeed, do we think that democracy is sacred, and that, if the challenge to it is grave and existential, we should be prepared to die for it?

  • Michael Ignatieff, Professor, CEU Department of History; former President and Rector, Central European University

16.20-16.40                 Coffee Break

16.40-18.00                 Panel Discussion: Threats to Liberal Democracy in Europe

Challenges to liberal democracy have been on the rise over the past decades. As a result, democracy is no longer the “only game in town” even in the European Union. Executive aggrandizement, the deterioration of the rule of law, distrust in officeholders, affective and ideological polarization, and the partisan use of state-power all signal the weakening of the institutions and the political culture underpinning democracy. Meanwhile the values and achievements of liberal democracy are also questioned from the left and from the right. Increasingly leading to vicious culture-war conflicts, the rise of neo-authoritarian ideological alternatives undermines the previously established liberal democratic consensus in Europe and beyond.

The panel explores the dynamics of present-day threats to liberal democracy. It considers the plethora of elite ideas and public attitudes offered as alternatives by illiberal and neo-authoritarian challengers, and reflects on their consequences. Finally, it seeks to identify entry points for effectively strengthening democratic resilience.


  • Thomas Carothers, Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Staffan I. Lindberg, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg
  • Mieke Verloo, Professor of Comparative Politics and Inequality Issues, Radboud University; Non-Residential Permanent Fellow, Institute for Human Sciences
  • Marlene WindProfessor, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen


  • Zsuzsanna Vegh, Visiting Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States


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